Is your LinkedIn profile up to scratch?
LinkedIn has become the world’s biggest social networking site for professionals and job seekers, not only in Africa but across the world. It is where Recruiters, HR Managers, Hiring Managers as well as decision makers of major companies are engaging with each other daily. If these decision makers are looking for someone with your skills to start at their company or to discuss a potential job with you, then you had better ensure that your profile is up to scratch.
Let’s get your LinkedIn profile noticed by the right people…
LinkedIn Profile picture
Make sure you have a picture of yourself. The picture need not be a picture from a photography studio but it should at least be a clear, up-to-date, professional image of you; ideally a picture of you dressed in your industry’s dress-code.
It shouldn’t be a selfie or a group picture.
Examples of acceptable LinkedIn profile pictures:
As you can see, the pictures above are professional and clearly show your connections and prospective employers who you are. The picture in the middle is a good example of someone in the Oil & Gas or Mining industry.
Claim your public profile URL
Claiming your public LinkedIn profile URL means that you personalise your LinkedIn url to include your name or anything you want businesses to remember you by. This will allow you to promote your LinkedIn profile attractively on your CV, business cards and even on your email signature. It is a lot easier to read and remember than a random and very long url.
My LinkedIn public profile url is za.linkedin.com/in/fowziagamiet – very easy to read and remember, right?
Be careful when claiming your public profile url and make sure that it is exactly what you want because as far as I know, once it has been claimed you cannot change it.
Also, if you have a common name and surname chances are that someone else would have claimed it by now and you will have to choose an alternative. Make sure it is professional.
Add your career history
Far too often I have seen incomplete Linkedin profiles where an individual has not included any information about their previous work or any information about their current work.
LinkedIn profiles have become an influential part of the modern business world and conveys an important message to Recruiters and hiring Managers about your career. Your LinkedIn profile strikes the balance between professional and personal. It is flexible enough for you to add information in the first person, yet professional enough to incorporate your career history as well.
Make no mistake, a complete LinkedIn profile is NOT only for job seekers but for all professionals. Given the social aspect of LinkedIn and the various Groups you may join and engage with as well as the discussions you may initiate with various stakeholders in your sector, a complete picture is imperative. Not to mention you would want to leave a good impression on those in your network and those you would like to connect to.
Join LinkedIn Groups and engage with others like you
Make a name for yourself by joining LinkedIn Groups that pertain to your sector. Share your opinion with people asking for advice and share jobs related posts with colleagues whom you know is on the job market.
READ! READ! READ!
I cannot emphasise this enough! For some reason, people just don’t read and seem to follow a sheep mentality where they copy what everyone else in the comments section is doing.
For example, if I share a job that my colleague is working on, it will include all the relevant contact information of the Recruiter as well as information on how to apply, yet I receive applications or people will publish their personal details to the public comments section. Or if I share an interesting article and people will comment “interested” without reading the provided information stating that it is in fact not a job.
Remember to get yourself noticed you need to make a good impression not just spam LinkedIn with noise. Reading is in fact a very important job requirement and Recruiters notice when you do not read.
Do you think that LinkedIn is a valuable tool in our lives? I have heard about some companies blocking social media from being accessed at the office, including blocking LinkedIn. Does this apply to your company? Do you think LinkedIn is considered a necessary social media platform or not?
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